To the person, who has not found love, yet…

I’m not really sure how to begin this post apart from, I have a lot of things on my mind lately and figured writing about them in a blogpost will be a great way to get it out. I thought I would write this post in an anonymous letter, to whomever may need it, including perhaps myself. I’m not entirely sure if this will flow well, at all.

“Dear whomever is reading this,

I’m not sure how I’m gonna get into this letter. I guess the only way I can do is state what I want to say without ‘beating round the bush’ – whatever that means. I’m 23 years old. I’m a female and I’ve never ever been in a serious relationship. I say serious, in actual fact I mean… any love-type relationship, at all. 

I often see posts on social media, of people my age and even younger with their loved one. Going away on holidays together, romantic dates or even days where you sit in bed, eat pizza and binge watch TV shows. I know that what is posted on social media is what people want you to see of their lives, or has been said before… a show’s highlight reel. I know, it isn’t always what it’s really like. There could be other problems and issues people are going through that they don’t want you to see. I get that. But the posts I do see, I can’t help but feel, when will it be my turn? 

The ‘attention’ I ever seem to get is from men, which I wish would leave me alone. For example, not too long ago, I got off the train from London after a job interview and couldn’t afford a taxi home so had to get the bus. Whilst walking to the bus stop the bus passed me and I missed it. I still headed there, waiting for the next bus as the walk from the station home isn’t long, but long enough. Especially after a day in London. The bus stop isn’t in a location where there’s no one around. In fact, it’s in a place where many, many people are around. Walking, driving, whatever it may be. However, there was this one man… quite tall and weirdly carrying a balloon. Must have got it from McDonalds near by, who was following me. Every time I stopped and turned round, he stopped. Not that this should be an issue at all, but I was wearing quite a short leather skirt and a longer blazer. I mean… I had to dress up smartly because I had an interview. I started to get concerned because I was alone and this guy was literally following me. It wasn’t until he started shouting stuff I really got nervous. I ended up having to run… literally run, two bus stops away to get away from him. WHY is it always, these types of people I attract?

I would say that I’m an outgoing person. I would like to think I am fun to be around. Of course not all the time, we alllllll have those days. Whether we admit it or not. You know, them types of days where you just want to hide from the world, snuggled in bed, watching your fave TV show and drinking hot chocolate or cups of tea on tap. (If you’re interested, my show is Greys Anatomy… I’ve watched 11 out of 13 seasons and it’s the ONLY show I can watch, without getting bored… unless you’re talking about Friends, but that’s a different story – that Now TV I bought at Christmas time, my fave for all Grey’s binge sessions) With that being said about myself, why haven’t I found someone yet? Why does no one pay any sort of attention to me?

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I feel a little left out. I feel like maybe I’m not good enough for a partner. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a bit terrified of love, because I’ve never had it before. I wouldn’t know the first thing to do. Maybe it’s just the attention I want and the love and not everything else that comes with it? Maybe… I just don’t know what or who I want after all?

I hate putting labels on things, especially things such as love. Love should just be love, right? Whether you’re a boy/man who has fallen in love with a boy/man/girl/woman or if you’re a girl/woman who’s fallen in love with a girl/woman/boy/man. Surely love, is love. 

I don’t know if what I’ve said has made sense. If you have read this and has also never had a boyfriend/girlfriend, who is also the only one out of your friend’s who hasn’t got/had a partner, Just know you’re not alone. I know the feeling is crappy and I too, am fed up of that saying… there is someone for everyone. I will believe it when I see it. I do, however.. believe everyone is worthy of love. Whoever and whenever it will be.

Until then, I guess you and I will be holding out for a hero… whoever they may be x x x”

 

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LFW – #TommyNow show. What it was like being there.

I, for one, cannot believe I get to write a blogpost about attending a London Fashion Week show. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to attend one. It was always my goal, but, I knew that you had to be invited to the shows, which meant I had no hope at all.  However, whilst scrolling through my Twitter feed I saw that Yanin, (PrettySickly) had an opportunity to attend the Tommy Hilfiger RockCircus show…of course I jumped at the chance and… I won!

Let me start by saying, I cannot thank Yanin enough for choosing me and my plus one Sophie, for this experience. To see any London Fashion Week show would be a plus, but to see the one, where two of my biggest muses, Gigi Hadid show her third Tommy collection and walk the show, as well as her beautiful sister, Bella Hadid (that I have a crush on!) with all their model friends, it was a dream come true. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

The whole process began with the decision of – what am I gonna wear??? For a broke graduate, I knew I would not be able to buy the dream outfit I would want to wear so had to settle for something less. I was umming and ahhing all week before the show, shall I order this? Shall I order that? Hmmm. It wasn’t until the day before I headed into town in hope that something jumped out at me. The weather has turned cold and I was so not up for wearing anything that would make me freezing. So, I settled for this outfit.

A £10 dress from Primark. Thanks Primark, you babes. My favourite part of the outfit is, the studded boots (from H&M) and fishnet socks teamed with the biggest, brightest, Pat Butcher-esque earrings from Topshop.

 

Tommy Hilfiger – RockCircus was on Tuesday 19th September and that afternoon I headed up to London to meet Sophie for pre-fashion week dinner. After dinner in our favourite chinese restaurant in Leicester Square Mr Wong, we headed to the venue. When we arrived, we were in a completely different line and completely bi-passed all the people. How cool. How VIP. How sassy. We had to wait outside for around an hour until we were allowed in.

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When entering the venue we were handed a Tommy Hilfiger drawstring bag. Yaaas!! As soon as we got in, there were stands with the collection that was being shown on. There were photo booths. There were GIF booths. There were people offering wine. There were people offering free burgers, hot dogs and fish and chips. There was a bar. It was all lit up like a circus inside, with a big Tommy RockCircus light up sign. It was something that I had never ever seen before. I was overwhelmed. 

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One, that I was even in the building and I was actually at an invite only London Fashion Week show, but how incredible it looked as well. We found a spot where we could stand and chilled until the show started, trying to spot the celeb just down from where we stood every time a bunch of paparazzi had their cameras flashing. All whilst standing, sipping wine and taking it all in. It wasn’t long until someone who was working the show, walked by and offered a halloumi burger. HALLOUMI BURGER. ALL THE YES FROM ME. Damn, it was sooooo good.

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It wasn’t too long until the show started and that was when the adrenaline kicked in and the buzz was felt in the atmosphere. Gigi walked out first and I swear, I could of fainted. I’ve admired this lady and her work ethic for so long and to see her, right there, in front of me. Literally, arms length away. Wow. I could feel that inner 14 year old fangirl in me about to make an appearance. The show had the most perfect soundtrack. Hip hop/RnB to strut your stuff too. I was so tempted to join in, not sure if they would like that though. I was stood with water in my eyes a few times, just so beyond grateful to be there. My dream coming true before my eyes

Gigi and Bella Hadid – ahhhhh!!!

Jourdan Dunn, Hayley Baldwin, Georgia May Jagger, Joan Smalls and a smiling Bella

When the fashion show had finished, there was a legit circus act happening. People on a trapeze and swinging from hoops, climbing big pieces of material, just wow. Whilst that was all happening, the stage was getting set for the one and only The Chainsmokers. They were performing at the afterparty. YES! I’ve loved these guys for a long time, just a cherry on top of the cake. Whilst standing watching The Chainsmokers (wow amazing live!) we were handed mini doughnuts. This show was the most incredible, amazing, overwhelming event I have ever, ever been to. 

Sophie and I stood watching the show for a little while before taking a wonder round. I didn’t want to mooch before the show, as I didn’t want to lose what incredible space we had. We went into the photobooth and got the biggest poster, with the Tommy London writing over the top as a take away gift for being there. We posed with microphones and a star tamborine. Just like Gigi does in the promo running up to the event. I was living the dream. 

Even now, 16 hours after coming home from the event I am still on a buzz. I cannot believe I was given this opportunity. I cannot believe I saw Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid with all their model friends. I always catch up on these guys, when they walk catwalk shows. Then, they were right in front of me. I cannot believe I got to attend such an incredible, well put on and fun event at London Fashion Week.

I hope in the future I can attend more London Fashion Week events, they are so fun. And, thank you, once again Yanin, for making my dream come true. 

 

Trich and 2017 plans

I haven’t blogged in a long, long time. This is because I thought, I was maybe taking it a little too seriously. I only started to write a blog to help people I know as well as people I didn’t know, understand what it is to live with such a debilitating illness that takes over your every little piece of being. I began to write to help people who are in the same shoes, know they are not alone. I started this blog to get people to understand, whether they have trich or not that it is an impulsive control disorder and even if you try and stop, it’s like an itch and you can’t… until that feeling has ‘passed’. Yet most times, the feeling never passes. I had a saying that if one person was to read this blog I would be happy. Suddenly, I was looking at numbers daily and seeing the drop in how many people was reading it, sadly got me down. I realised then, I needed a break. I was also wondering if what I was writing, pouring my heart and soul into and writing very very personally was a little… too much? I’m still not sure if I write too much into the personal side and if I’m comfortable sharing this with the whole world.

Since my last post, Trich has not been kind to me. Due to other things happening in my life and trying to deal with them day by day, trich has decided now is the time to show its presence. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling pretty weak mentally as well as getting every other cold under the sun at this time and it likes to take advantage. I have had numerous nights and days recently where I’ve just sat there and been SO angry that I could come right back to what feels like the beginning, again. This isn’t just something that I’ve just started dealing with either, 2017 marks around the 15 year mark of dealing with this. FIFTEEN YEARS out of twenty three I’ve lived.

It’s so sad to say, but it all feels way too familiar. The round and round in a circle feeling of the highs and most definite lows. The days and nights I sit there and think, can I even do this again? Can I even look in the mirror and think… my oh my why and how have you done this to yourself, which then changes my thoughts to I can’t go out to enjoy myself because of the way my hair looks. Can I even deal with the thought of people thinking (even though I’m sure they don’t, this is trich being irrational) that they can see a decline in the length of my hair and maybe even notice the very obvious to me, bald patches. Can I really and truly do this again?

That’s when I need to stop them thoughts, as hard as it is. In 2017 I’m going to try, again my hardest not to let the negative dwell on me and turn them into positives. Of course there will be times where I sit there and I will be in that zone of pulling and nothing or no one can get me out of it. Then five minutes later, I’ve managed to snap off yet another big chunk of hair. These times I won’t be able to turn them into positives. There are no positives. It’s just shame. The feeling of being ashamed and letting those people down who have been cheerleading me on. With these thoughts I need to let them be, then move on.

This then requires me to look back to the most positive time in 2016. In June/July 2016 my hair was ALMOST the same length and every time I looked in the mirror I felt HAPPY. I felt pretty and I felt like I could rock trich and show it where to stick it. I felt like I had so very closely BEAT it. Even if my hair stayed like that for a couple of months, I cherished it and still do. I still think back to them moments and cannot wait to get to that stage of looking in the mirror and feeling the best feeling there is.

I am, however, very very nervous for 2017 and I’m nervous for how my hair looks like this time next year BUT even on my bad days, I’m still as determined as that little girl who was dreaming for that all one length hair, to get there. Just now, I have a little help from my friends and family which I didn’t have this time last year, as it was still my own little secret.

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We can do this together, right? I promise I’ll make you (who cares) proud… even if it is a journey getting there.

Happy two years Southampton

Grab yourself a cuppa, this one is going to be long. Today marks exactly two years ago I made one of the biggest decisions and done the biggest thing I’ve ever done; move over 100 miles away from my family and friends. 100 miles away from home.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-19-51-46I still remember the run up to going away. I remember every time I went to go and visit my nan. She would have added an essential thing you needed to have when living on your own which I would never of thought of. You know things like medicine – of course you’ll need that at some point unless you’re supernatural and immune to all illnesses, if thats the case please give me your secret. My nan still does that to this day, tops me up with the stuff that I will need but may not already gone out to buy it or wouldn’t necessary bought with a food shop – thank you nan! I really appreciate it.

I also remember my going away meal. The meal where my family got together for a little goodbye to uni and I bought my good friend Shannon along. It was the weekend before I went and I remember then it kicking in that my family won’t just be down the road. That if I needed eggs to bake cakes I wasn’t able to just run to my nan and steal two eggs and instead have to go to the shop and grab six eggs and waste four because I don’t like eating eggs on their own.

However, it meant that I was about to start to gain my own independence and that was exciting. I was about to have all the freedom I possibly could have, not that I didn’t have that before but even more so now. It meant that I had to grow up, quickly. Hell did it smack me round the face as soon as I got there. Once I had grabbed my fob (I was staying in student halls first year, as many people do) and unloaded the car of way too much of my belongings into my room I’ll be living in for the next ten months, grabbed a food shop and saw my dad off which was hands down one of the worst times – ever, I headed back to my room and sat on my bed thinking, what now with tears down my face. Even now when I say bye I always cry, there’s something about your family leaving you down away that is just so so sad.

In my first year I’m not going to lie I got homesick a lot. To the point I wouldn’t leave my room and just lay in bed feeling sad. I missed the whole different lifestyle I had at home which I didn’t realise I had until I moved away. I would call any family member as many times as I could just to talk to them. I didn’t even meet the people I’m currently living now, who lived down my hallway until a few weeks in. Not every one has an experience like that but because I feel like I’m such a family girl, it hit me hard. Looking back on that to now I don’t get it nearly as much. I’ve finally got round to thinking in my head, I’m only a three hour train ride home, it’s not that bad. Besides, it’s so much nicer to go home and see my family after a long while, it feels more… special?

It’s no secret if you’ve read my blog before that I have a mental health illness which is triggered majorly by anxiety and depression. It was life changing moving away from home and battling with that. It’s made me more aware of how to look after myself more and it literally is just me here, to look after myself. If I’m sick and I don’t have medicine in, I have to go out and buy it and still make my dinner and get through the day. This is probably one of the biggest thing’s I’ve learnt. I have had an overwhelming amount of support for this, however. Last year, just after I had started my second year I went to seek help with dealing with anxiety and the way it was making me feel from the uni after advice. It helped me a lot. I’ve wrote about it in a blog post here.

All in all I have learnt a lot about myself. I have a stable job here now, I’ve been passing my university projects and now going into third year and I have my own little uni family. I know more than two people now, I know all the great coffee shops and take aways and I now have people down here who look out for me. I have no idea, how I’ve made it this far without going home… especially after them first few weeks, but I battled through it and still going now. It’s been an adventure for sure. I still haven’t left Southampton and gone anywhere else down the south coast, that is still on my list to do, as well as go the Isle of Wight.

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A massive special thank you to the family and friends who listen to my rants constantly. Who listen when I have something I’m finding difficult and just need to speak it out. Those who give the most invaluable advice and those who check up on me to see how I’m doing. Those who call me for hours and hours because I’m feeling alone and those who text me to make sure I’m OK. I appreciate it so much, so so much. Genuinely. If you have just moved to uni and feeling alone, down, don’t really know what to do.. please please do message me. I would so love to help you and give you tips.

I’m lucky now that I can call Southampton my second home and I’m proud of myself.

University – Top five tips

It’s already September – how? Although this does mean Autumn, i.e- cosy jumpers, drinking hot chocolate with lots of cream and marshmallows and not getting weird looks, PUMPKIN SPICED LATTES, cute over the knee socks – you get the idea. It also means for some people a stressful time of moving away from home to a whole new city, where they may not know anyone and it can be scary. I’m about to go into my third year at university and now quite used to the lifestyle that comes with moving away.

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(Photo credit: Instagram – positiveheadspace)

I have some of my top tips which I have learnt after moving away. It’s all so exciting moving away and I can tell you it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve gained so much independence and learnt life things which I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t move away.

I’ve piled some into a list for you here and I hope they help you in one way, or another:

– BUY EARPLUGS. Oh christ I wish I knew this before I moved to university. I didn’t use them in first year and just put up with the noise. Only recently have I bought some as next door have parties regularly and they are the best investment. You might not need them every night but it’s so good to have them there incase you do. They will become your best friend. 

–  If you can, get a group together to do a food shop and get it delivered to your halls/house. It’s so much easier than trailing across town with bags and bags of food. If you split the cost of delivery and pay your own share, its lifesaving. Seriously.

– If you’re moving into halls getting a lock for your cupboard stops people getting in your cupboard and stealing food. Although you can only control it in the fridge if you buy yourself a mini fridge for your room (I did, best £30 spent! Who doesn’t want milk in your room for a late night cuppa without leaving your room?) 

Keep on top of washing up. There is nothing more frustrating for other flatmates/housemates than someone in the kitchen who doesn’t clean their own plates up. There is also a hygiene issue with this too. Not ok. Just keep on top of everything in general. If you stick post-it notes over your room and it helps – do it. If you’re someone who like to keep a diary and write stuff down like me – buy one. It will help you so much and you will feel so much more productive. 

– If you are missing home or have other issues then please, please go and speak to someone within the university. There will be a student support centre within your uni who are there for you. It’s there job to look out for people. Don’t ever feel like you are being too silly or a burden  I did feel this before I went to talk to them and they’re so helpful. They offer services for all sorts of issues including money, homesickness and mental health to name a few. Best thing I done was talk to them. Honestly.

– Keep track of your assignments and work. It goes without saying really. I only decided to discover the library at the end of second year – yep. It is the perfect place for work to get peace and quiet. Sometimes your house/halls can be too loud to get some work done. Also, if you don’t do anything whilst there, it still feels productive because you’re at the library. If you struggle with writing/reading there will be people at the library who can help you too. Win/win.

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(Photo credit: Instagram – positiveheadspace)

Make sure you have the best time. Although at some points it may get too much just remember why and how you got there. You can do it. You will get through that ever ending to do list. You will get that assignment thats kept you up for months done and you will get used to being away from home.  Remember if you ever do have any issues, especially homesickness message me any time. You can do it and it will be the best years of your life, honestly!

Hairdressers are Trichy.

This post is one that I thought of, off the top of my head whilst walking to work. I wanted to write another Trichotillomania post. A post which gives whoever is reading this a sense of what it takes to be in a situation which is so easy and enjoyable for some yet not for others. I love getting pampered and I love getting my hair cut but I can tell you, it is one of the most stressful things to do whilst suffering with Trich.

I have touched on this in a post before, but 9/10 I go to the hairdressers in the first place to try and trick my mind into thinking that all the split ends which I endlessly search for and all the ‘hard’ feeling hairs have been cut out, and none remain. Before I go I really have to amp myself up. My own hair is much shorter at the sides compared to the rest of my hair from where I can snap them off. This gives me major self confidence issues as it is, let alone going to a place where they specifically look at your hair.

The usual conversation that goes whilst at the hairdressers is this: “The sides of your hair are very damaged, aren’t they?” which I then respond with the same old answer every time “I bleached my hair from red to blonde myself” This obviously would of damaged my hair a lot but… I did it around four years ago now. Surely all the sides of my hair would have grown back by now, in the eyes of the hairdresser.

I have to mentally prepare myself for the shame, especially now I see the same hair dresser every time for her to mention the broken off bits. I normally go in the hair dressers with my hair down – take it out before stepping in. Somehow this makes me think that if she sees my hair before like this, she won’t be shocked if I was to take it down and most of it is broken.

After the whole experience has happened, despite all the anxiety that goes with it waiting for my turn to go and trying my absolute hardest not to pull and if I did I would do it on the down low and hope no one sees, I feel good. It works for like a day to stop pulling but it also keeps my hair in good condition and helps it regrow. I normally go for shorter and if it is a bad time on the whole Trich front I usually cut my hair to a point which I can’t lift it up to look at, that way I won’t see if theres any split ends to pull – success. My goal however is to have my hair long, long long hair. I will get there one day.

I have researched into Trich friendly hairdressers and there are particular ones in America from old articles which say they are, yet I haven’t seen any in the UK yet. Maybe I’m just missing them but if you know of any in the UK I’d love to find out? I hope Trich gets so much more awareness in the future and all hair salons become Trich friendly.

I haven’t had my hair cut in around three months now, which isn’t long but my last experience wasn’t pleasant and I’ve sadly kind of been put it off. I need to get the courage and go. If you are nervous and scared as a Trich sufferer yourself and you don’t want to go alone, try and get a understanding friend to go with you.  I always see that as a massive help. You could always treat yourself for coffee and cake afterwards – a firm believer in ALL CELEBRATIONS OF VICTORY. Go you!!! Remember also, if you can’t, you are not alone. I’m always open for a chat. I believe you can do it.
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Photo: (instagram.com/mentalhealthdaily_)

Newest plans

Summer is here – finally and hasn’t it been a hot one these past few days. Although I think I’ve only spent a combined hour in the sun actually sitting in it this past week I’m loving it. The sweaty nights however, not so fun. Any how, during this time I have been making plans. Plans which can lead to big big things potentially in the future. If you know me or read my blog before you will know I love goals and setting targets to reach.

Around this time last year I spent my summer from uni learning how to do fashion illustrations properly. With properly I mean developing how to draw them/shading/colouring and learning both programs Photoshop and Illustrator. I had an Instagram account which I’ve now merged into my own blog/personal/graphics account where I posted solely illustrations I created everyday for two months. They usually were celebrities or influencers and sometimes got reposted by these people which gave my account more exposure. I had people message me asking to make graphics/illustrations for their blogs/personal use and I never felt ready. I just needed that little extra time before I was ready to do them.

Well… I’m now ready. I have to complete 100 hours of work placement this summer for me to be able to complete my degree, I know right.. pressure. I have already tried out an internship and felt it wasn’t for me. I have also applied for many and the ones I really want haven’t got back to me – I can’t wait to graduate and apply for junior graphic designer jobs. I am soooo ready. I feel like making illustrations for other people will not only possibly help me get these hours to complete the degree but it will also help gain more skills, as you know the saying practice makes perfect and all that.

I’ve decided for now I will only be doing digital illustrations until I magically come into more money as I don’t have the £’s this summer to make physical prints, but maybe that could be something to do in the future.

Here are a few of the recent illustrations I’ve done and I’d be happy to create ones to anyone who would like one at a small cost.

Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in happening and I’ll see if I can make it happen.

Tweet me at @charnicolelucas or you could always send me an email: charlottenlucas14@gmail.com where I’d be happy to discuss with you further!